Spring is here to stay and summer’s on its way, so chances are you’re in the market for some backyard toys for kids. Whether you have
elaborate afternoons planned with water tables and slushies or you’re just looking for something inexpensive to get your kids outdoors for a bit, know that you don’t have to spend a fortune on outdoor toys for kids. They’ll love these options, and they’re all under $30.
Is your son or daughter getting into a new sport for the first time? Adding a new t-ball set or mini basketball hoop to the back yard would make the perfect surprise for your elite athlete. If your kid is all about birds, bugs, and nature, a toy camping set and some real, working binoculars should keep them occupied for hours. Or maybe you need some portable outdoor toys you can keep in the trunk of the car for days at the beach, park, or grandparents’ house. Fear not — those options are all here. You may even see some toys that remind you of your own childhood (hello, ride-on bouncing ball).
So go ahead and browse these affordable backyard toys for kids of all ages — your little ones and your bank account will approve.
We at Romper only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Kid-sized binoculars and carrying case Pros: The rubber coating helps kids grip the binoculars and absorb impact if (or when) they’re dropped. Cons: Younger kids should be monitored if they’re using the neck strap, which could be a strangulation hazard. ESSENSON’s Binoculars for Kids are recommended for children ages 3 through 12 who want to scout for birds, explore their back yard, and spy on their siblings. They come with a carrying case, neck strap, and a lens cleaner, and can adjust to fit even the smallest faces. The 4x zoom lets kids see things far away more clearly, or take a super close look at what’s right in front of them. Review: “My 3-year-old grandson loves his new binoculars! He goes all over the house looking at things through his binoculars, though I purchased them for his trips to and from going north to Gammy’s house! Great gift!” 2 A simple but entertaining outdoor toy set Pros: These toys don’t require any assembly or batteries. Cons: Some reviews say the polyester parachute material rips easily.
Whether you’re using these for outdoor toys or you need something to occupy the kiddos indoors on a rainy day, these
tangle-free throwing toy parachutes from PGXT can help. They’re safe for kids 3 and older — all they have to do is give them a good toss or drop them from somewhere high up (reviewers say older kids love dropping them from a second story stairwell to the ground below). The mesh material won’t tangle, unlike other parachute toys made with string. Review: “My son had received a parachute guy at a parade over the summer and loved it. I wanted to get him some as a stocking stuffer and I found these. These are AWESOME!!! They don’t tangle, they are made of awesome material (not plastic bag material) and are so fun to be used again and again. He loves throwing the over the railing at the top of the steps!” 3 A play set for sand, dirt, and water Pros: This set is versatile enough for the beach, pool, or back yard. Cons: The turtle lid isn’t designed to attach to the bucket, so the pieces fall out easily.
Making mud pies is hard work, but a set like this can really help your little backyard baker. This
outdoor play set from Melissa & Doug includes a mixing bowl bucket, sifter lid, spoon, whisk, and three pots for mixing up sand concoctions and pool water potions. It’s intended for children ages 3 to 5, and the plastic material means they’re lightweight and made to last. Review: “My 3 1/2-year-old daughter loves this set! She pretends she is making all kinds of baked treats (mostly cakes) at the beach with this. It is adorable! Even her older cousins/friends play with it. The scoops, whisk, and spoon are just perfect for them to pretend they are measuring and mixing things. And the ‘bowl’ ends up being an extra bucket too. Love this! I accidentally bought two of these and my 11-year-old niece and 7-year-old nephew play with my daughter's set so much I'm just going to give them the other set.” 4 A ball and glove for playing catch Pros: It should last until your child’s hand outgrows the glove. Cons: There’s no left-handed glove option.
Easy Catch Ball & Glove set from Toysmith is a great starter kit for teaching your little one the joys of playing catch. The glove and ball have a Velcro design to make catching and holding onto the ball a bit easier, which is especially helpful for this age range (kids 3 and older). Review: “My 3yr old grandson can already catch and throw a ball, and is super dexterous already at a young age...we haven't been able to find him a real baseball glove that fits his tiny hand. This has been the perfect solution until he grows into a regular baseball glove! It is also helping him learn how to close the glove around the ball when he catches it because it is so flexible and has the Velcro ball. My wife was a huge ball player and has already enjoyed many hours playing and teaching him with this ball and glove.” 5 Classic sandbox vehicles Pros: They come in frustration-free packaging. Cons: Some comparable toys make noise or light up, and these do neither.
If you need some sandbox toys that can roll through even the deepest sand, that’s what this little front loader and dump truck are designed for. Their features move to really scoop and dump sand, and the plastic construction means they should stand up to rough play and the elements. The manufacturer suggests these
John Deere Sand Toys for kids between 18 months and 4 years old. Review: “These toys are small enough to throw in a diaper bag, but big enough to keep the toddler interested around the house. My son rolls these things around the house saying ‘Bbbbbppp Bbbbbppp Bbbbbppp’ for hours. Granted we taught him engine noises, but man they have earned their keep in our household! I'm sure he'll enjoy them in the sandbox someday too.” 6 A gardening tools play set Pros: No batteries or assembly required here. Cons: The cotton rope handle may dry rot over time.
watering can toy from Green Toys is meant for indoor and outdoor fun for kids 18 months and older. The watering can, rake, and shovel are all made of phthalate- and BPA-free plastic that can be used in the garden with the grownups, tossed in the pool or sandbox, and even washed in the dishwasher if need be. Review: “The Easter Bunny brought this set for our newly 2 year old. He’s been using it about a month now and loves all three pieces, but the watering can is his favorite. He loves to use it to help me water all our plants and also uses it regularly in his water table. All the pieces are very well made and extremely durable. The watering can in particular has been dropped on concrete, down the porch steps, and taken all sorts of abuse only a toddler can dish out and it doesn’t even have a scratch. This momma loves that it’s all recycled materials too.” 7 A kid-sized ball set Pros: They arrive inflated and ready to play. Cons: They’re softer than typical balls, so they may not be the bounciest.
What’s a backyard toy collection without balls to kick, throw, and bounce? The Toysmith
Get Outside GO! Pro Ball Set includes a soccer ball, football, and basketball made of a soft but durable plastic that’s stain- and fade-resistant. They’re designed to fit small hands perfectly and are intended for kids ages 3 and up. Review: “These balls are perfect for a young toddler. Not normal size, but not too miniature either. Material feels relatively thick and has withstood some attempts to bite through it by both toddler and dog. My daughter started running around 15 months and liked throwing things (as toddlers do), so I got her these for fun. The balls aren't overinflated so they're easy to pick up by little hands. Don't expect the basketball to bounce well, but it has enough recoil to dribble it if you bounce it hard enough. These have helped my daughter develop more motor skills while having fun.” 8 A Spiderman-themed bouncing ball Pros: Balls come in a variety of colors and character designs. Cons: It does not arrive inflated.
Hedstrom has been making
hopper balls since 1913, so you should be pleased with how long these vinyl toys last outdoors. This size is intended for kids ages 4 and up (though older siblings may not fit for long). They’re weatherproof, so if your kiddo leaves it lying out in the backyard overnight, it’s no big deal. Review: “I had a hoppy ball when I was a kid. This was back in the early 1970s. It was a blast then, and this one is a blast now! My son saw this, and went crazy! The Hedstrom hopper ball is very durable. Extremely easy to inflate. I recommend a simple hand pump. You could use a pump for balls (footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, etc.). However, I successfully inflated my son's hopper ball using my God-given lungs and a few stout puffs. My son is 3 years old, 3'3" and around 35 lbs. This hopper is perfect size for him. And I can tell that we'd be able to add a bit more air as he grows to accommodate him.” 9 A space-saving basketball hoop Pros: The rim and net fold in to store flat. Cons: There is assembly required even though it doesn’t have a stand.
The Little Tikes
Attach ‘n Play basketball set is made for kids 3 to 10 to shoot hoops and dunk with ease. This basketball hoop hangs on a door, adjusts to three different heights, and can be used indoors or outdoors. Pop it on the back door in the evenings for some backyard fun, and dunk the miniature ball into the breakaway hoop. Review: “Whoa! This toy is packed with fun! This kept my kids entertained and excited! The assembly took about three minutes and is so easy with the instructions. As soon as I put it up my kids were all over it! They invited friends over to play and they loved it too! Honestly, its 1 of the best toys I ever bought for them. I have honestly bought $100 toys for Christmas and birthdays but I think this toy has no limits. They try 2-pointers or 3-pointers and no looking. The amount of fun they have with it was so unexpected how much the play with it is shocking.” 10 A bubble-blowing kit to make giant bubbles Pros: This set includes bubble solution. Cons: It doesn’t include a container to pour the solution in to, so you’ll need a clean tray, bowl, or bin.
With a 4.4-star rating and more than 10,000 reviews, this WOWMAZING
giant bubble wand kit is one of Amazon’s best-selling bubble toys. It’s suited for kids ages 6 and older and is lightweight enough to carry to the park, beach, or anywhere else you might need an outdoor toy. The plastic wands should last a long time so your kids can enjoy giant bubbles for years to come. Review: “Bought this for my grandson's 6th birthday and it was a HUGE hit! In spite of the fact that he was getting a HOARD of high-end gifts like remote control cars and the like. He ran over to me and said ‘Oh Grandma...I really wanted this. THANK YOU!’ And Grandma melted right then and there, lol!” 11 The cutest play sprinkler Pros: The water pressure is designed to be safe for kids 3 and older and pets. Cons: It can spray pretty far, which could put your neighbors in the splash zone.
Tommy Turtle sprinkler toy is designed to distribute water pressure evenly so it’s safe for kids 3 years and older (and pets). It’s back sprays water and spins while the colorful tubes wiggle and sprinkle water in all directions. The hose connection includes a rubber O ring to help prevent leaks. Tommy Turtle is made of BPA-free, durable materials to get you through this summer and many to come. Review: “Cute little turtle face. So cute that my 2-year-old slept with it the first night we had it. The little tubes do a nice job of gently spraying the water around. It’s really colorful and decently made for a kids’ sprinkler. Great quality for the price. Would recommend for anyone with toddlers and small children.” 12 A durable set of water guns Pros: Doesn’t require batteries. Cons: Holds enough water for eight to 10 squirts before you need to refill. HITOP’s water guns come in a set of two, perfect for parents with more than one kid to entertain this summer. Water guns are the perfect outdoor toy to cool down on hot days, and the plastic construction means these can stand up to being dunked in the pool too. They’re recommended for ages 3 and up, and are CPC-certified, meaning they’ve passed government safety tests for children’s toys. Review: “The distance reached by water stream is proportional to the pressure applied to the water gun's pump. Older children and adults will reach maximum distance, younger kids should still reach 10 to 15 feet. The reservoir holds enough water to supply eight to 10 full blasts. Great pool toy. Durability is unknown as these water guns only in use for one week; however, similar guns ordered over two years ago are still going strong.” 13 An easy-to-fly kite Pros: It comes with string and a winder, so you have everything you need to fly it included. Cons: There is a little bit of assembly required before flying.
Rainbow Kite for Kids is the second bestselling kite on Amazon — it’s designed to be easy to fly, even in a light breeze, so kids can learn with less frustration. The manufacturer recommends this kite for kids 3 and older, though it’s probably best for older kids who can more easily change the length of the string and hold onto it on windier days. Review: “We hadn't used a kite until couple of days ago. My son took my grandson to the beach and they tried it out. He said it was easy to use and was very colorful and big. My grandson said it was wicked.” 14 A safer, softer pogo stick Pros: It supports up to 250 pounds. Cons: It has a built-in squeaker (which can be removed, but still).
My First Foam Pogo Jumper is a pogo stick bouncer alternative for kids ages 3 and up. The foam block bottom is soft enough to use indoors but tough enough to withstand hopping outside too. It should wrap up easily for storage in a toy bin, and is lightweight enough to toss in the car and take to the park. Review: “This was a birthday gift for my 4-year-old. Her first attempt or two, she could not get her balance, but once she figured it out, she was good to go. Yes, it squeaks when jumping but it doesn't bother me. She is so happy doing it. Her just turned two 2-year-old brother loves watching her. He gave it a shot once but, obviously, couldn't get balanced. We've had it less than a week, but so far, it's been totally worth it.” 15 A kid-safe archery set Pros: Archery is great for hand-eye coordination. Cons: The bow requires batteries for its light-up feature to work.
Designed for kiddos between 3 and 12 years old, the ToyVelt
bow and arrow set includes a working bow, quiver with shoulder strap, six arrows with suction cup tips, and a hanging target. All the parts are plastic, and there are mixed reviews on how durable they are depending on how rough your child plays, but it’s a fun toy for the entire family to break out in the backyard. Review: “I accidentally bought two bow and arrow sets for my son's birthday, this and another with a target on a PVC stand. While I prefer the stand one for the target, the bow on this one is significantly ‘cooler’ to my freshly minted 4-year-old. Even without the batteries (we're in the process of moving and I had none on hand when this unexpectedly arrived!). It was neat enough that I didn't return it. Even my older kids like playing with this — 11, 10, and not quite 40-year-old husband. Pleasantly enough it doesn't hurt as bad as a Nerf gun when you're the target.” 16 An all-in-one t-ball set Pros: It breaks down easily and has a built-in hanger for storage. Cons: The base isn’t weighted so it can knock over easily.
Little Tikes t-ball set has 4.7 stars and more than 15,000 reviews, so it’s a solid choice for your child’s backyard toy collection. It’s suitable for children 18 months and older, made of lightweight but sturdy plastic, and includes five balls ready to whack. The height is adjustable so it can grow right along with your toddler. Review: “I bought this as a present for my son’s second birthday. I'm very satisfied with it and my son loves it. Even though it is made of plastic and is pretty lightweight, it stays upright when he swings at the ball. I also appreciate that it came with five balls, because this gives him an opportunity to take multiple swings before having to collect them. Also, the bat is lightweight so he can hold it up and swing, but it is made of strong material so he can't damage it — even hitting it against the brick house!” 17 An inflatable toy for the rough players Pros: The bumpers can be inflated by mouth, manual or electric pump. Cons: No pump is included.
Bump N Bounce inflatable body bumpers are made with a durable PVC material, and the set comes with a repair patch in case of any pops or snags. The brand recommends these for kids ages 4 to 12. The product’s instructions recommend filling them to 80% of their inflatable capacity for the best cushioning effect. Review: “We love this body bumper set! Huge hit with all the kids...as young as 5 and as old as 17. This even fits over me as an adult...little tight to get off, but goes over my head and can get arms through. I’m 5’8” and 130 pounds, 5-year-old is about 42 inches tall and 50 pounds. Super fun to use in our trampoline for sumo battles, kids and I were laughing a bunch...good times and is still holding up great after all that at our party.” 18 A complete camping play set Pros: The accessories are interactive — the lantern actually lights up and the camping stove has a light-up flame. Cons: The lantern and gas stove need AA batteries.
Recommended for kids 3 and older, the FUN LITTLE TOYS
pop-up tent comes with all kinds of camping accessories, from a cooking set with play food to a lantern and binoculars. The camping set can be used indoors or outdoors but isn’t waterproof, so it’s not something you can leave outside. That said, the 4.7-star rating and more than 7,000 reviews mean you and your little one should be happy with this backyard toy. Review: “Awesome set! Once we opened it and set it up, our son did not want to come out of the tent. Did not want anyone involved or taking part as he played. Perfect way to keep him busy as we did our house chores. It’s been a few days now and his interest is still there but now is willing to share with all of us and play along. For the price, what it comes with, and to see how much fun our son was having, so well worth it!” 19 A soccer ball and goal set Pros: A pump for the soccer ball is included. Cons: Because of the size, your child will definitely outgrow this set. Franklin Sports Kids Mini Soccer Goal Set is about two feet wide and 16 inches tall, making it the perfect setup for littles ages 3 and older. The goal also folds down to store flat or for easy transport to a new field (it’s lightweight enough to toss in the trunk and go). Review: “I love that you can fold up the net and put it away. Then it is very easy to bring out and clicks back together. It is lightweight to move around both inside or outside the house. My granddaughter has enjoyed kicking the ball (that was included) into the net and scoring! Perfect birthday gift.” 20 An inflatable unicorn sprinkler Pros: The sprinkler attaches to any standard garden hose. Cons: Some reviewers’ sprinklers arrived with defects, so inflate it to check before you plan to use it.
If you don’t have a pool in the backyard for the kids to cool off this summer, a sprinkler is the next best thing. JOYIN’s
inflatable unicorn yard sprinkler sprays water high into the air for kids to play in until it’s time to break for popsicles. It’s lightweight and easy to move around the yard as needed. Review: “I bought this gift for my niece's fourth birthday. It was by far the biggest hit of the party. B-day girl and her friends were in love. My 14-year-old daughter blew it up, hooked it up to the hose and all the kids enjoyed. It sprayed really well, better than I thought. Pressure was good, stream went pretty far. The only comment that isn't 100% in love is, the unicorn is pretty light weight. On a windy day it could blow away easily. The younger kids wanted to sit on it and it is not sturdy enough for that.”
Many of the outdoor toys from this list are classics. Big or small, your kid will get a lot of joy playing with these backyard toys when the weather’s nice.